Thanks to the worldwide success of The E.N.D., Will.I.Am is viewed right now as a dance-music maven, one whose pop-star touch can turn tireless club staples (think David Guetta) into Top 40 chart acts. Unfortunately for Booka Shade, that wasn’t really the case three years ago, when the Black Eyed Peas mastermind prominently sampled this German electro-house duo’s “Body Language” for a cut on his ill-fated solo disc, Songs About Girls.
Today, such an endorsement could lead to a big-time breakthrough; in 2007, it was juicy fodder for liner-note trainspotters. Booka Shade sound resigned to that twist of fate on More!, their fourth non-mix album.
If 2008’s The Sun & the Neon Light represented the attempt of Arno Kammermeier and Walter Merziger to move from the dance floor to the car stereo, here they get back to where they once belonged, layering all manner of squiggly synth riffs over the kind of sleek techno grooves that define Get Physical, the well-regarded Berlin label they helped found. That gives the music an appealingly relaxed vibe, but it also produces the slight scent of concession. Sometimes, it seems, More! is less than it might have been.